Hodges secures grant for new curriculum

From School Reports

Dionne Hodges, an instructor at the Webster County Career and Technology Center, was awarded $14,900 for a grant she wrote to purchase resources to enhance the curriculum for the new Business Fundamentals course she will be teaching beginning in the fall of 2012.

The grant is funded by the Discover Brighter Futures Fund, which is within the Goldman Sachs Philanthropy Fund. In her grant proposal, Hodges submitted an annotated budget defending her selections of resources to be purchased with the grant money.

The funds will buy 1.) two sets of classroom textbooks with student workbooks, teacher resources and website access; 2.) computer simulations covering financial literacy, taxes, investment, and insurance; and 3.) hands-on packet simulations featuring maintaining a personal checking account , and selecting health, life and automobile insurance.

Business Fundamentals will be offered at the WCCTC for students in grades 10-12. Completion of this course will satisfy the economics requirement for graduation. Students who plan to pursue a college degree with a concentration in business, marketing, or management as well as students who have tentative plans to manage or own a business will benefit from taking Business Fundamentals.

Students will develop financial and economic literacy skills to assist them in making informed decisions concerning career exploration, budgeting, banking, establishing credit, spending, paying taxes, saving, investing and purchasing insurance. To reinforce learned concepts, students will participate in computer and hands-on simulations. They will also compete with other students from schools throughout the nation in online financial literacy events and through activities sponsored by the student organization, DECA.

Beginning in the fall of 2013, Business Management will be offered to those students who have completed Business Fundamentals. This course will cover advance topics in employer/employee rights and responsibilities, communication for managers, time management, developing extensive business plans, business procedures, operations and security issues, business finance, information management and applications.

In addition to securing the grant, Hodges also contacted the Mississippi Economic Council, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC to request materials available for her students. These agencies sent pamphlets, booklets and CDs covering various topics such as identity theft, living online, electronic banking, establishing and maintaining good credit, and a host of supplemental economic activities for classroom use.

Hodges reports, “I am very excited about teaching these business classes. The units covered will be extremely beneficial for all students because it exposes them to the world of personal finance and to the strategies for making responsible decisions that are so important to know in today’s economic situation.”